The Pandemic Leadership Model: A Study of Medical Student Values During COVID-19
Keywords:Leadership, Medical Education, Pandemic
Background: Leadership training is of growing importance in medical education. The COVID-19 pandemic provides unique insight into the qualities and characteristics medical students value in leaders. Little standard information exists regarding best practices, competency-based leadership models or frameworks to guide leadership program development in undergraduate medical education. This study aims to determine what students value in leadership during a pandemic and what implicit leadership framework students use in order to inform medical education curricula.
Methods: We developed a survey instrument aimed to uncover student perceptions of effective and ineffective leadership qualities and examples, both during the current COVID-19 pandemic and during crises in general.
Results: Students identified the overarching themes of Communication, Other-Orientation, Personal Characteristics, Decisive Action, and Use of Information. These five themes were then built into the model of Pandemic Leadership within the context of complexity leadership theory and collective leadership theory.
Conclusion: This study is unique in its focus on student perceptions of leadership qualities both in general, and during a time of challenge that can serve as a real-world laboratory for leadership. We hope that this information, along with the pandemic leadership model, can serve as the first step to useful and relevant leadership training programs in undergraduate medical education.
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